In developing countries, and particularly in West Africa, the role of Climate Services (CS) for sustainable development is growing thanks to wide spreading collaboration among European institutions, including National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) research centers, universities, and homologue local institutions. Operationally, the implementation of CSs in developing countries is mainly pivoted on NMHS, which, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), are dramatically affected by unmet learning demand.
The global scale of learning needs for co-development of CSs calls for innovative solutions and a range of flexible modalities to reach learners in a variety of ways, and for sharing resources and successful strategies within the global education and training community. In order to harmonize expected learning outcomes, WMO defined a competency framework (CF) for CSs to be used in the implementation of training initiatives and knowledge sharing tools.
This paper presents the strategic and methodological approach adopted in the implementation of the TOPaCS, a new knowledge-based distance learning initiative, aiming to provide a flexible learning environment within the CSs CF of WMO ensuring coherence with other WMO education initiatives (Global Campus, other RTCs, etc.).
The methodological approach adopted is based on the competency-based approach to training, where competencies are composed by elements of knowledge and skill. TOPaCS integrates the WMO CF for CSs into a taxonomy co-designed with stakeholders at different levels, and allows the definition of learning paths, which are a further interactive opportunity for co-development of CSs within the TOPaCS learning ecosystem. Indeed, the approach aims also to guide further instructional strategies and assessments and becomes a starting point to build a common language enabling a better cooperation and exchange between the different CSs training initiatives.